Welding your way to success

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Rasheed Bisiriyu

Welding is an interesting craft, which can get people into the millionaires‘ club.

Welders join metal parts, melting and fusing them together. Automobile, aerospace, and ship builders routinely use welders to work.

Howard B. Cary, in his article, ”Modern Welding Technology”, says, ”Nearly everything we use in our daily life is welded or made by equipment that is welded. Welders help build metal products from coffeepots to skyscrapers. They help build space vehicles and millions of other products ranging from oil drilling rigs to automobiles.

”In construction, welders are virtually rebuilding the world, extending subways, building bridges, and helping to improve the environment by building pollution control devices. The use of welding is practically unlimited. Welders are employed in many industry groups.”

As new sites are being developed in major cities in the country, smart people are taking businesses specially needed for such areas there. Many who deal in construction materials are taking advantage of this.

Like most other artisans connected to construction work, welders’ products are also not found in short supply in these locations.

Although at building sites, they mainly make windows, doors, gates, garage doors, elsewhere, they also fabricate agricultural equipment such as maize mills, rice hullers, maize hullers, as well as block making machines, circular saws, oil press, plainer machines, moulds, and other customised machines.

Experts say if you decide to take on this business, you will be surprised at how many people really want your services.

Except you are only involved in the selling of the products, they say acquiring the basic training is the first step towards starting a lucrative business as a welder.

Four out of the 28 years welding experience of Mr. Mathew Oderinu, the Managing Director, Marteco Steel Engineering Construction Company, was spent in apprenticeship. He, however, says that it now takes between five and six years to fully master the skills because it involves learning to use both traditional and modern tools.

Many techniques and resources are available to help people advance in the welding skill and it is important to seek them out to make the best business decisions possible.

Oderinu says that with about N500,000, you could set up the business on a medium scale.

He lists the materials needed to function well as a good welder as a welding machine, which costs between N50,000 and N200,000; a drilling machine sold for about N10,000; welding generator costing between N350,000 and N500,000.

A grinding machine is a machine tool used for producing very fine finishes, making very light cuts, or high precision forms using an abrasive wheel as the cutting device.

Setting up the business will entail acquiring a welding machine. It is advisable to get a portable machine. It should be small, compact but sturdy enough so that it does not stop working when you are actually servicing for a client.

One of the most important ways to launching your welding business is to secure jobs. And you could do this by forming or joining your local association to network with local businesses.

Experts also advise on the need to print good business/call cards, which you hand out to people at major events and informal occasions.

They also lay stress on the need for individuals or groups to create functional websites or emails through which business contacts can be expanded.

Beside, they urge welders to consider becoming sub-contractors by linking up with established firms. Many larger companies, they say, will sub-contract work when they are busy.

Oderinu also enjoins young and old welders who hope to remain relevant in the business to read current journals showing latest welding designs and tools/equipment for the job.

Although you may occasionally delve into new products and designs, which should be displayed or advertised in the appropriate media, experts urge that you should focus on products on high demand in your area. You may, however, raise the appeal with new but simple designs.

One subtle way to advertise your service is through customised gift items.

Items such as t-shirts, stickers, mugs, and pens with the company’s logo on them help your customers with name recognition.

Greg Lamm in ”Precision Micro Welding” advises new welders to ”join organisations that directly apply to what they do. By doing so, they gain exposure and make new contacts, as well as have a wealth of information and resources available to them to help them learn and grow.”

He also warns, ”Do not rush out and buy all the newest, state-of-the-art equipment. Buy what you need to start, and borrow, rent, or lease the rest until you can buy your own. Never order more product than you can use in one month.”


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